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Fri, May 10, 2019

Consultant Makes Safety Recommendations For Vance Brand Airport

Study Finds 'No Evidence To Conclude Current Skydiving Operations Are Unsafe'

A Florida consulting firm hired by the city of Longmont, CO to study safety issues at Vance Brand Municipal Airport has concluded that skydiving operations at the airport are not unsafe and do not warrant termination, but the consultant also concluded that skydivers using the airport “do not appear to be operating in a consistently disciplined manner that provides any level of comfort to other airport users" based on on-site observations.

The Times Call newspaper reports that the city issued a press release Tuesday which indicated the Quandrex study calls for steps “to increase the margin of safety of operations for skydivers and other airport users, in particular novice skydivers and pilots, and those unfamiliar with skydiving operations within an airport environment.”

The study recommended several actions on the part of the city, including relocating the LZ and making it a circular area consistent with USPA best practices; updating and expanding standard operating procedures for skydiving to ensure that the jump plane makes routine announcements on airport radio frequency; brief skydivers and ensure they acknowledge and understand relevant standard operating procedures and approaches to the parachute landing zone or zones; report all off-drop-zone landings; discontinue skydiving operations within the airport’s designated “Object Free Areas,” such as prohibiting boarding skydivers at a current landing zone area that encroaches on an object-free area adjacent to one of the airport’s taxiways, and; relocate a fuel truck parked near another to station it at the designated aircraft refueling area.

The city plans to review the recommendations with airport stakeholders soon.

To complete the study, a final meeting is planned with what city officials say will be a "a broader airport stakeholder group" to get input into the draft report. Mile-Hi Skydiving, which has been at odds with the city for years over skydiving operations and is actively involved in a legal proceeding against the city, will reportedly be invited to be a part of that group.

Aero-News contacted the consulting firm, and learned that the lead researcher has limited skydiving experience, admitting to having completed only one tandem jump and does not consider himself a skydiver.

(Image of recommended LZ provided with Quantex study)

FMI: Source report
Consultant's Preliminary Report

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